Contact Specifications | Trade Futures


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Trading Unit

Futures: 1,000 U.S. barrels (42,000 gallons).
Options: One NYMEX Division light, sweet crude oil futures contract.

Trading Hours

Futures and Options: 9:45 A.M. – 3:10 P.M., for the open outcry session. After-hours trading is conducted via the NYMEX ACCESS® electronic trading system starting at 4 P.M. on Monday through Thursday, and concluding at 8 A.M. On Sunday, the electronic session begins at 7 P.M. All times are New York time.

Trading Months

Futures: 30 consecutive months plus long-dated futures which are initially listed 36th, 48th, 60th, 72nd, and 84th months prior to delivery. Additionally, trading can be executed at an average differential to the previous day’s settlement prices for periods of two to 30 consecutive months in a single transaction. These calendar strips are executed during open outcry trading hours.

Options: Twelve consecutive months, plus three long-dated options at 18, 24, and 36 months out on a June – December cycle.

Price Quotation

Futures and Options: Dollars and cents per barrel.

Minimum Price Fluctuation

Futures and Options: $0.01 (1¢) per barrel ($10 per contract).

Maximum Daily Price Fluctuation

Futures: $15.00 per barrel ($15,000 per contract) for the first two contract months. Initial back month limits of $1.50 per barrel rise to $3.00 per barrel if the previous day’s settlement price in any back month is at the $1.50 limit. In the event of a $7.50 per barrel move in either of the first two contract months, back month limits are expanded to $7.50 per barrel from the limit in place in the direction of the move.
Options: No price limits.

Last Trading Day

Futures: Trading terminates at the close of business on the third business day prior to the 25th calendar day of the month preceding the delivery month.

 Options: Beginning with the August 1997 contract, trading will end three business days before the underlying futures contract. All prior contracts, as well as the December 1997, June 1998, and December 1998 contracts already listed as long-dated options, expire on the Friday before the termination of futures trading, unless there are less than three trading days left to futures termination, in which case, options expire two Fridays before the futures contract.

Exercise of Options

By a clearing member to the Exchange clearinghouse not later than 5:30 P.M., or 45 minutes after the underlying futures settlement price is posted, whichever is later, on any day up to and including the option’s expiration.

Option Strike Prices

The first twenty strike prices are in increments of $0.50 (50 cents) per barrel above and below the at-the-money strike price and the next ten are in increments of $2.50 above the highest and below the lowest existing strike price for a total of 61 strike prices.  The at-the-money strike price is nearest to the previous day’s close of the underlying futures contract. Strike price boundaries are adjusted according to the futures price movements.

See also  Chart Formations | Wedges | PFG Futures


F.O.B. seller’s facility, Cushing, Oklahoma, at any pipeline or storage facility with pipeline access to Arco, Cushing storage, or Texaco Trading and Transportation Inc., by in-tank transfer, in-line transfer, book-out, or inter-facility transfer (pumpover).

Delivery Period

All deliveries are rateable over the course of the month and must be initiated on or after the first calendar day and completed by the last calendar day of the delivery month.

Alternate Delivery Procedure (ADP)

An Alternate Delivery Procedure is available to buyers and sellers who have been matched by the Exchange subsequent to the termination of trading in the spot month contract. If buyer and seller agree to consummate delivery under terms different from those prescribed in the contract specifications, they may proceed on that basis after submitting a notice of their intention to the Exchange.

Exchange of Futures for, or in Connection with, Physicals (EFP)

The commercial buyer or seller may exchange a futures position for a physical position of equal quantity by submitting a notice to the Exchange. EFPs may be used to either initiate or liquidate a futures position.

Deliverable Grades

Specific domestic crudes with 0.42% sulfur by weight or less, not less than 37 degrees API gravity nor more than 42 degrees API gravity. The following domestic crude streams are deliverable: West Texas Intermediate, Low Sweet Mix, New Mexican Sweet, North Texas Sweet, Oklahoma Sweet, South Texas Sweet.

 Specific foreign crudes of not less than 34 degrees API nor more than 42 degrees API. The following foreign streams are deliverable: U.K. Brent and Norwegian Oseberg Blend, for which the seller shall receive a 30¢-per-barrel discount below the settlement price; U.K.Forties  is delivered at a 35¢ discount; and Nigerian Bonny Light  and Columbian Cusiana  are delivered at 25¢ and 15¢ premiums respectively to the final settlement price.


Inspection shall be conducted in accordance with pipeline practices. A buyer or seller may appoint an inspector to inspect the quality of oil delivered. However, the buyer or seller who requests the inspection will bear its costs and will notify the other party of the transaction that the inspection will occur.

Position Limits

15,000 contracts for all months combined, but not to exceed 1,000 in the last three days of trading  in the spot or 7,500 in any one month.

Margin Requirements

Margins are required for open futures or short options positions. The margin requirement for an options purchaser will never exceed the premium.

Trading Symbol

Futures: CL